Hidden down the little side street called Tib Lane near the Manchester Town Hall there is a door with a tiny hatch peephole on it.  Knock on the door and a face will pop through the opening asking for a password.  Welcome to Lounge 10… a saucy, sassy and decadent experience awaits.

I wanted to book something really special for my sister for her birthday and Lounge 10, a restaurant and speakeasy was highly recommended.

Upon arrival with my sister and good long-time friend, Judith, the service, not only in courtesy but in friendliness and customer care, but also in the minute details of making sure every individual is happy and taken care of is second to none.

We were escorted up the stairs of this tall narrow, dark and moody speakeasy to a table right in front of a small white grand piano with a Sinatra-esq crooner singing sweetly to the clientele.

I asked for directions to the loo and was sent upstairs to a red door.  I completely missed the door (it was sort of hidden) and got lost in the menagerie of doors and staircases, not going unnoticed, the ridiculously pornographic roman orgy artwork – apparently scenes from Pompeii.  I ended up coming down the back of the bar area, completely missing the loo.  I am sure they are used to this because my next trip to find it was with a linked armed escort.  This time I noticed a dark corner, especially made for two seats and clairvoyant readings and a private dining area bathed in red light, black tablecloths and velvet curtains.

I felt this was the safest of all the paintings I could post

The treat was mine so I started with special bottle of pink Champagne.  A great way to start this incredibly fun evening, especially with two appetizers to share that would pair perfectly.  The first, a heavenly taste of Scuffle Suissesse.  Beautifully presented with a delicious parmesan crisp atop a fluffy soufflé and briny spinach with a perfect amount of sharp balsamic.

Our second appetizer, oh my, the Smoked Salmon Cannelloni.  Tiny portions of  milder than usual salmon wrapped in delicate, razor thin cucumber.  The sweet baby onions and pickled rhubarb added something wonderfully special to this colorful appetizer.

I was torn between a few entrees but knew I wanted a fish dish.  The idea of curried cauliflower intrigued me so I opted for the Pan Baked Halibut. So utterly wonderful and buttery, I could not have picked better.  The skin has a lovely salty flavor and with the lentils and crunchy, spiced cauliflower it added this ideal mix of textures that worked so well.

Toni, my sister is an absolute carnivore.  She will eat beef every single night of the week.  Over and over again she kept saying.  This is the best beef I have ever tasted.  She ordered the Scottish Beef fillet, medium rare.  I asked her to try and describe it.  She said…  “The best steak ever!  Lovely sweet marinade with nice taste of salt.  A side of creamy sweet potato and juicy earthy mushrooms and crunchy asparagus, added to that was a fantastic red wine sauce.”Our Champagne finished, we moved on to a wonderfully crisp Sancerre, which tantalized the taste buds just right for our evening.

My friend Judith picked the Grilled Brill Fillet.  Her opinion…  “It looked like a painting, and tasted like a masterpiece.  The grilled brill fillet is white and luscious underneath, and golden crispy on top, with rustic garlic foam to complement the delicate flavor, it was pure piscatorial perfection.  A side to the dish is the squid ink risotto, which is so subtle, delicate and elusive, it is ingenious.”  I think she was a fan!I really wanted my sister to have dessert so we could sing Happy Birthday to her, but all she wanted was cheese.  What else was there to do except wish her a happy birthday with a candle in her brie.

Their website asks . . .“Psst — what’s the password?”  Well, I just say tell them you heard the food was great and the atmosphere definitely has a special something that adds to a fun celebration.

I cannot recommend Lounge 10 enough for the food, the crooning but most importantly the outstanding, absolute personal service and of course you must take a tour of the saucy, naughty Pompeii artwork, which gets saucier the higher in the restaurant you go.

Check out some of the door handles!!BTW, my sister did have her fortune told.  It remains to seen if anything will come true.I cannot wait to return next time I am back in Manchester.

Scuffle suissesse-wilted spinach, parmesan waffle,
wine emulsion, aged balsamic – £10.50
Cucumber and smoked salmon cannelloni –
Truffle rhubarb, slow cooked yellow tomatoes, baby onions,
roasted hazelnut £9.50
Pan baked halibut – curried cauliflower texture, puy lentil,
coconut and coriander £18.50
Scottish beef fillet –
sweet potato fondant grilled asparagus, fricassee of
exotic mushrooms and feves £23.50
Grilled brill fillet – squid ink risotto, steamed mussels, mange tout,
sauce verge, rustic garlic foam. £17.25
Selection of cheeses – served with spiced apple, grape chutney,
celery and biscuits. £10.00
My Sister enjoying her evening

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